War Toys


to Sep 25

Touring Exhibition at Saginaw Valley State University


The traveling exhibition WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip opens on July 10th at the Marshall M Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.

Brian McCarty will be giving a public presentation on September 4th @ 7pm in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall, Curtiss Hall. Copies of the WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip catalog will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

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to Dec 14

Juger/Créer: Regards sur la Cour Pénale Internationale

  • Cité Internationale des Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Brian is honored to have a War-Toys piece included in the exhibition "Juger/Créer: Regards sur la Cour Pénale Internationale,” opening on Monday at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris. The exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of the International Criminal Court and its creation by the Rome Statue.

Organized by The Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Advanced Studies on Justice, the National School of Magistrates, the Cité internationale des arts, Creating Rights, the City of Paris, and artists including Zérane Girardeau, the exhibition and accompanying round table discussions present an original and transversal approach to the International Criminal Court by combining different disciplines: history, law, sociology and art.

A route designed around different spaces allows visitors to gradually enter the heart of the Court. From the presentation of this international jurisdiction, to the immersion in a trial, to the victims' view of the crimes they have suffered, the organizers and artists wanted both to pay tribute to this institution and to allow the opening of a dialogue and reflection on its functioning, its actions, its ambitions and its future. Celebrating this historic moment serves to remind us that the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression are a violation of our humanity and that it is essential to support the International Criminal Court's action in its fight against impunity.

The selected War-Toys image was created in 2016 and based on a young Syrian refugee’s account of being the lone survivor of an airstrike that killed her entire family. To preserve the girl's anonymity, her name has been pixelated in the top right of her drawing. Humble thanks goes to the Kayany Foundation for facilitating the art-based interview at one of their schools for refugees in Lebanon, Art Therapist Myra Saad for conducting the interview on behalf of War-Toys, Zérane Girardeau for selecting the piece for the exhibition, and Maud Saheb at UNICEF France for the kind introduction.

For more information:

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2:00 PM14:00

Panel Discussion at Dar El-Nimer Art & Culture in Beirut


Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture and Artichoke Studio are putting together an international panel on the Creative Transformation of Trauma. The panel will emphasize the therapeutic benefits of the creative process and showcase ways in which the arts can convey meaningful stories in contexts of violence.

- Panel Program -

War-Toys Photographer – Brian McCarty
Play Therapy – Dr Julia Byers & Manal El Chafei
Art Therapy – Myra Saad & Gabrielle Gingras
Drama Therapy – Wissam Kotait
Dance Therapy – Amanda Gill & Zita Gil
Q&A to follow

Location: Auditorium, Second Floor. Open to the public. Limited seats. Language: English

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6:00 PM18:00

WAR-TOYS at the University of Houston

The University of Houston's Clear Lake Gallery is hosting the touring exhibition "WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip," curated by Catinca Tabacaru, produced by ExhibitsUSA, and supported by the Mid-America Art Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The show is up from January 29th until March 15th, 2018. Brian will be on hand for a closing reception and artist's talk on March 8th from 6-8pm

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to Oct 26

"War and Toys" at PolyU Design, Hong Kong

PolyU Design and PolyPlay Lab presents War and Toys - a combined exhibition of new work from Iraq by photographer Brian McCarty and student designs inspired by his WAR-TOYS project. The exhibition showcases PolyU Toy Design student proposals for specialized toys intended to promote resilience in children affected by war, alongside Brian's work relating the stories of the boys and girls who have survived conflict. PolyPlay Lab Leader Rémi Leclerc and Fulbright Specialist Brian McCarty facilitated students’ creative development during a weeklong workshop, with input from Expressive Therapists Myra Saad (Artichoke Studio, Beirut), and Chloe Martin and Lillian Yuan (The Justice Centre, Hong Kong).

The exhibition will open to the public from at 3/F Skyview Exhibition Lounge Innovation Tower.

Brian's involvement in the workshop and exhibition have been generously supported by Fulbright and US Department of State grants. 

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6:30 PM18:30

Artist Talk at Virginia MOCA

On Thursday, October 6 at 6:30pm, Brian will be speaking at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art about his experiences developing WAR-TOYS and collaborating with war-affected children in the Middle East. He will be sharing details behind the art-therapy-based project and some of its resulting photographs. The talk is presented in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose.

The event is open to public. MOCA Members Free / Non-members $5.

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6:00 PM18:00

WAR-TOYS at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The main gallery at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host the traveling exhibition "WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip" from September 1st until October 20th, 2016.

Brian will be speaking at the university on September 21st as part of a public event marking the International Day of Peace

“WAR-TOYS” is a striking portrait of war from the eyes of children. The exhibition features Brian McCarty's meticulously composed toy photographs, taken on location in areas of active conflict. Using an art therapy based approach and working with NGOs, McCarty invited children living in these areas to art direct his photos through supervised drawing and discussion. The results are powerful, interpretive documents of witnessed events and shared fears. 

The exhibition includes the children's drawings as well as some of the locally acquired toys used in the photographs. "War-Toys: Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip" is curated by Catinca Tabacaru and presented by the NEA-funded Mid-America Arts Alliance and ExhibitsUSA

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
151 Fine Arts Bldg.
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204

Free and Open to the Public

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4:00 PM16:00

Print Auction Benefitting Kayany Lebanon

Refugee Camp Life

Refugee Camp Life

Fleeing Syria

Fleeing Syria

On April 9th, Artscoops will offer two WAR-TOYS prints at an art auction in Beirut. All proceeds from the sale of the prints will benefit the Kayany Foundation and fund an art therapy program at their schools for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Both photographs were created in collaboration with boys and girls under the care of Kayany in 2014. Reproductions of the children's drawings that served as art direction and inspiration are included in the sale. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016 - 4:00pm

Le Yacht Club Gallery
Zaituna Bay

Auctioneer: Edward Rising
Curators: May Mamarbachi & Janet Rady

View catalog online at: artscoops.com/auction



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6:30 PM18:30

Preview at Artichoke Studio, Beirut

Artichoke Studio is presenting a special sneak peek at new work for WAR-TOYS Project, photographed over the last several weeks by artist Brian McCarty.

WAR-TOYS is a work-in-progress photo essay that seeks to explore war from the perspective of children living in its day-to-day reality. Using art therapy approaches, children who have been affected by war relate their personal stories through drawings and discussion. These art-based interviews serve as art direction for photographs of locally found toys, placed and posed to recreate what the children have relayed.


Brian McCarty – Los Angeles based "toy photographer” known for high profile commissioned series for clients including Disney and Cartoon Network. Brian started War Toys as a personal project in 2011 and has visited Beirut twice since then.

Myra Saad - An art therapist and mental health counselor who has worked extensively with children and adults affected by war. Myra is the founder of Artichoke Studio and has been collaborating with Brian since 2014.

Free and open to the public.

For more info: info@artichokestudio.org or 03-545281


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to Mar 18

WAR-TOYS at The College of Central Florida

The Webber Gallery at the College of Central Florida will host the traveling exhibitionWAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip,” Feb. 5 through March 18. An opening reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 18, from 4-6 p.m. at the Webber Center; both are free of admission.

"War-Toys: Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip" is curated by Catinca Tabacaru and presented by the NEA-funded Mid-America Arts Alliance and ExhibitsUSA

For more information, call 352-873-5809 or visit their website.


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5:00 PM17:00

Talk at the American University of Beirut

Brian McCarty will be giving a talk next week at the American University in Beirut with Art Therapist Myra Saad:

War and Toys: Seeing Conflict From a Childlike Perspective

Talk and preview of new “War-Toys” work by Toy Photographer Brian McCarty accompanied by a discussion with Art Therapist Myra Saad about expressive therapies and their use in the project. Brian has been working with Myra over the course of the last several weeks in Lebanon, using principles of play and art therapy to gather and articulate children’s accounts of war.

03 December, 2014


American University of Beirut (AUB)

Building 37, Conference A (behind the Lee Observatory)

Hosted by Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), Department of Fine Arts & Art History (FAAH), and Architecture & Design departments at AUB

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7:00 PM19:00

WAR-TOYS talk at the Seattle Central Library

On Thursday, December 5th at 7pm Brian McCarty will be speaking at the Microsoft Auditorium inside the Seattle Central Library. The event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, media sponsor The Seattle Times, and presented in partnership with The Elliott Bay Book Company. Copies of War-Toys Vol.1 will be available for purchase and signing.

Free and open to the public.

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6:00 PM18:00

WAR-TOYS at Peanut Underground, NYC

November 5th - 26th, the cutting-edge Peanut Underground Art Projects in NYC will host a preview exhibition of WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip. The show, curated by Catinca Tabacaru / Tinca Art, will feature a selection of recent work alongside the children’s drawings that served as art direction and inspiration. An installation of ambient sounds from the region will accompany the images and provide an opportunity to further understand the experiences of the children.

Brian will be in NYC for the opening event on Tuesday, November 5th from 6-9pm. There will also be an intimate artist's talk and book signing at the gallery on the evening of Saturday, November 9th from 6-9pm. Space is limited, so get there early! 

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6:00 PM18:00

V&A Museum of Childhood

The renowned V&A Museum of Childhood in London has published a selection of WAR-TOYS work in conjunction with an exhibition opening on May 25th. Titled "War Games" the show examines the material culture of war, reflected in toy artifacts from 1800 until today. It's a real honor to support the exhibition and present the perspectives of children affected by war using the actual toys available to them.

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7:00 PM19:00

Talk at Carter Presidential Library

Brian McCarty will be speaking at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library next week. He'll be previewing new work from his recent trip to Israel and the Gaza Strip, discussing this latest chapter of the project while his thoughts (and some of the images) are still raw.

Thursday, January 17th at 7pm in the Carter Presidential Library & Museum Theater. It’s free and open to the public.

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TEDx Talk in Santa Monica
7:00 PM19:00

TEDx Talk in Santa Monica

On Thursday, August 23rd Brian McCarty will be giving a TEDx talk in Santa Monica about WAR-TOYS. Tickets can be purchased here

From Brian:

I'm excited to reveal some of my upcoming plans during the talk. For everyone that's been asking (and can't attend), I'll be sharing details soon afterwards on the blog. Thanks to all of your continued support, I resume production in the Fall.

I look forward to collaborating with children from diverse and sometimes divergent cultures, exploring the universality of suffering caused by conflict. 

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